Stop The Slow Lane

The FCC is proposing new rules to allow Internet providers to discriminate based on content to provide separate and unequal connection speeds.

This effectively creates “fast” and “slow” lanes for the Internet which means that website owners and entrepreneurs may be forced to pay an arbitrary fee to ISPs like Comcast and Time Warner if they want their visitors to be able to access their website at regular speeds – or at all.

Last week I wrote a post titled Dear Internet: Let’s Demo The Slow Lane. What you are seeing on my site for the rest of this week is the demo. Don’t worry, you’ll only have to endure that popup and slow down once, unless the FCC does something like what they are proposing with these new rules.

#StopTheSlowLane is an initiative to raise awareness about this issue. At its core is a simple JavaScript widget, an animated GIF like the one below, or a WordPress Plugin for your website or blog that will inform your visitors about what’s going on and empower them to easily contact Congress and the FCC about the issue.

The call to action, js code, and WordPress plug in for #stoptheslowlane is available for you to put on your site if you want to demo this for your users. The GitHub repo fightforthefuture/stoptheslowlane has the full source code in case you want to modify / add to it.

Help us send a message that a slow lane on the Internet isn’t acceptable.

  • Great cartoon describing this from a reader.

  • al

    I’m all for slowing down the stupid youtube.

  • typing slowly: This is Awesome. Important to note, this starts at the FCC. They set the rules of the playing field. Personally, I’d prefer to burn the rule book and let private companies sort it using Coase Theorem.

    • Burning the rule book and letting private companies sort it out is another approach. But our government is unwilling / unable to burn the rule book.

      • I agree with you. No trust. Of course, when they let private fisherman regulate themselves it lead to decreased catch size, and larger fish population….all the debate over the last mile would disappear, and Americans would get faster internet at cheaper prices if they put the FCC on the exit lane.

        • normal person

          thats nonsense. those private companies are trying to get fcc to end net neutrality.
          i’m not sure if you are being sarcastic, dumb or work for those companies.

          • Actually I am not being sarcastic, and I haven’t worked for a corporation since April 1986. normal person, the govt created the situation through regulation. the corps lobbied and sought rent via the govt. without the FCC, there would have been more competition and monopoly or oligopoly might not have been created. Coase Theorem is the perfect way to solve the conundrum. Of course it is not realistic to think govt would step back-but to simply blame the corps is incorrect. Here is an explanation on Coase:


    I sent you an email but haven’t heard back from you.
    It is possible to cast a wireless net over the US and make internet access free to all.

    • they are doing it in high frequency trading. no reason not to compete with comcast and the boys.

  • TeddyWeverka

    Another strategy gaining in popularity is to add code to slow page delivery whenever someone from the FCC tries to access your site:

  • Storewars News

    Nice read! Very informative. Did you know that? Sluggish
    economy puts pressure on SABMiller. Full story here:

  • Sgt Zim

    We do not need yet more regulation to solve a problem that was caused by regulation in the first place. If Comcast/TWC and AT&T didn’t not have legal monopolies on the last mile and we actually had competition from ISPs for the last mile, Comcast and AT&T would have no customers left after pulling a stunt like this. There is no better regulator than a free market.

  • Sorry, but the Internet has never been neutral. I’m sure we can all imagine alternate realities in which it becomes neutral, but there’s no way of knowing which alternate universe would come true. The net neutrality movement actually wants to ensure that ISPs don’t interfere with the costly inequality created by CDNs, premium transit, and private networks.

    Similarly, the FCC’s proposal for baseline + premium network services does not, under any reasonable analysis, create a “slow lane.” Go over to the CU Law School and talk to Phil Weiser and Doug Sicker about it, it was their idea.